SMM and Recycling Economics offered by EPA

EPA celebrated America Recycles Day Nov. 15 by releasing an update to the national Recycling Economic Information (REI) Report, which includes findings on the economic benefits of the recycling industry. America’s recycling and reuse activities accounted for 757,000 jobs in 2007, based on the most recent census data, which is more than the population of Seattle. This equates to 1.57 jobs for every 1,000 tons of materials recycled. The industry also produced $36.6 billion in wages and generated $6.7 billion in tax revenues that year.

Recycling is a key element of Sustainable Materials Management (SMM), a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire life cycles while minimizing environmental impacts. As part of EPA’s commitment to advancing all SMM practices, including recycling, the Agency maintains tips on what individuals, communities, and businesses can do to recycle more and waste less.

For specific details on recycling practices in America, check out the most recent Advancing SMM: Fact Sheet, which illustrates that the national recycling rate was 34.6 percent in 2014.